To attain mind's original qualities we need to
practice equanimity. We have to accept that which occurs without
changing anything. We are prejudiced about what mind is and here are
some misconceptions: "mind is empty," "we have to stop the emotions
and thoughts." Our idea is we have to do something, but this runs
contrary to meditation.
not doing anything. It is being in the presence of mind where there is
equanimity. Whatever happens, inside or outside us, we do not stop or
block it. It has no importance and we just leave it. The disposition
of mind during meditation is such that there is no expectation or any
idea of consequences. For meditation to be effectual there has to be
no expectation. Humility about who we are or what we do is important.
We constantly have hopes and fears thereby giving rise to tensions,
even when we are supposed to be calm. For example, during meditation,
when you don't know how to meditate, after a few seconds you'll be
looking both internally and externally: "Am I meditating well? Is the
room quiet? When will that noise stop?" The real obstacle is at that
point when you expect or fear something. Lighten up ... whatever
happens just let it go. There is really no "good" or "bad" meditation.
You should not worry about whether or not you are contemplating.
Be aware of
how you function. Meditation is making room for this awareness. Just
be there, not doing or adding anything. Meditation is like any
activity. There is first the theory; then it has to be put into
practice. We have to leave behind our habitual tendencies as described
earlier. Effort is necessary in meditation with the knowledge that it
is a clear state without any expectations. We have a tendency to
always judge what we did in the past, denying our actions if they were
deemed negative. It is more effective if we reflect and consider
whether an experience is useful for whatever reason. We should look
upon it not as a source of conflict with the self, but for a better
understanding of self.
"wrong" meditations are in fact "good' support for contemplation.
Terms for the contemplation are: no fabrication, no production. The
consciousness is present and exposed to the multitudes of phenomena.
Even the checking to ensure that there is no fabrication is
fabrication again. Naturally, meditation is not a state which can be
described in its usual sense. We should dispense with words and the
descriptive terms for they are not "the state."
technique to apply is "to allow to settle," that is, let the body and
mind to calm. An analogy is like agitated water - leave it for a
while, then, whatever particles are there will sink to the bottom and
the water will become clear again. The body must be in a calm state.
Walking is all right but running might make it difficult. There should
be no talking. Reduce the production of thoughts, which means to let
go and be in the present. Don't try to do anything. As with water, if
you try to take anything out it will not stay clear anymore, so don't
interfere. This state of calm and lucidity of the mind is perfect
presence like a tape recorder taking in everything that is happening
without selection or judgment. The point is not to cover up the eyes
or ears with our fingers. For example, during meditation, a change in
light may be construed as: "It is becoming more cloudy and then,
later, it might rain." You are no longer meditating if you think like
that. Or if you hear people talking, and you think, "what are they
saying," there is no meditation again. One should come back to the
meditation and not follow the thoughts. Like someone watching a show,
you look at everything.
condition for meditation is a calm place with no rock music band
playing. Complete silence is not necessary all of the time. You will
gradually learn to integrate all external events in the meditation
such as people talking outside. It is just like that - not good or
bad. Initially, you will fall again and again into the trap - not
serious contemplating. The only obstacles to your meditation are your
reactions to thoughts and judging whether something is good or bad.
Slowly integrate all the events into the meditation session. If you
are sometimes distracted and you realize it, you are no longer
disturbed. A common stumbling block is that we practice meditation to
achieve some improvement or result. There is always the tendency to
check if it is good or bad, better or worse. These are really the only
real obstacles to meditation. Even if your meditation was calm and
then afterwards you judge it to be good, then it means that the
previous session or the one to follow will not be as good.